Meet The Maker: Smith & Goat
Today we’re sitting down with Reggie & Amy from the concrete homewares company, Smith & Goat. They’ve collaborated with us on a few pieces for our new Lazy Lifestyle collection, creating the amazing, colourful and forever useful coasters, vase and trinket dish. And here they are now, to tell us all about their small business, and how they create these wonderful things.
Hello guys! How have you been?
All good over here thank you, werk werk werk. So many exciting things going on as usual, slightly headless chickens but we haven’t had a coffee yet.
Where are you right now, and what have you got on your ‘To Do’ list for the day?
Reg: I’m in the workshop making a mess (well a concrete bar for our upcoming Pop Up Shop). After that I’ll be speaking to clients about bespoke projects and delivering an amazing sink we’ve made. Amy: I’m juggling the kids during half term while working in our E17 shop - the girls make great shop assistants. After that I’ll be uploading new products to our website, ‘Edit’ of other independent makers we work with and stock.
When and how did Smith & Goat first come to be?
We’re coming up on five years old. Reg started making pots for our own plants in his mum's shed and the business and passion for concrete grew from there. We very quickly outgrew that space and decided to move on up when the things we were making wouldn’t fit in or out, and Reg’s mum refused to make him any more tea. Over the years we’ve evolved organically to take on projects of all sizes, both residential and commercial and now have a happy home in our E17 shop. We make just about anything you can think of in our workshop - from Tables to Fireplaces, Kitchen Tops and Outdoor Kitchens, along with our ever growing range of concrete home accessories. It’s been a steep learning curve with the concrete and being a small business - every day throws up a new challenge. We’ve been so lucky to meet some wonderful people along the way, as well as some exciting collaborations, especially this one with Lazy Oaf!
What’s your all time favourite thing about running a small business?
Amy: Creating something of our own, it’s like our third child...it’s as joyful and unpredictable as the other two are! Having a great small team of people who work with us now, that have the same belief in what we’re doing. It blows my mind! Reg: The people we’ve met along the way from all different backgrounds, many of whom have become friends.
What made you want to work with concrete over other materials?
It’s the opposite of how people imagine concrete to be. It’s perceived as dark, brutalist and cold, yet what you can achieve by adding colour, shape and creativity to it is amazing. People come in to see us and literally can’t believe what can be made with concrete. You also never know how it’s going to behave so every piece created is unique in some way.
We’re obsessed with the ‘Good Times Vase’ you made for us - what do you reckon are the perfect flowers to go in it?
Something bright and cheerful like orange dahlias or tulips!
What have been your greatest and proudest achievements since starting your business?
Collabing with Lazy Oaf...duh!! Nah, in all seriousness this is a dream collab for us as we’re huge fans. We’re really proud of the fact that people want a piece of Smith & Goat in their homes. People make such big choices when renovating their homes and the fact they choose to have us in there is a big thing that we’re truly humbled by. Surviving lockdown as a business has also been a big achievement for us, as I’m sure it has for many.
Will you be popping some of the Happy Sad coasters on your coffee table?
Of course, we might even make them their own coffee table!
We’d love to know a bit more about the production process for your designs - fancy giving us a rundown?
Designing is a collaborative process, both within the business and from ideas that people bring to us. We love getting round a table and thrashing out ideas as a team, usually with some food and drink involved. The best ideas usually come late in the evening. Naming our colours was a very fun process, we should publish the outtakes! Once we have a design idea, we carve a negative from wood, which is then poured in silicone to make a mould before being cast in concrete. Depending on the weather most things dry overnight and are demoulded, polished and sealed to a perfectly imperfect finish. Then we cross our fingers and hope people like it!
Do you have a favourite product you’ve ever made? Why do you love it so much?
Reg: I think it has to be the Shell Sink from our Signature Sink Collection. Being able to plan, make and launch a large collection really felt like us growing up as a business. The Shell sink in particular is so beautiful and unique in design to Smith & Goat. Amy: Without a doubt the Glob Collection is my favourite, the wobble tray in particular ticks all my boxes. The collection was a dream to design and we had so much fun creatively shooting it with Bean studios, who we work with on all our photography.
Is there anything you dream of creating in the future?
If it doesn’t have to be made from concrete - more time! There are never enough hours in the day to do everything we would like, and a bit more free time would be nice. From concrete, we’d love to work on some really cool spaces like hotels and restaurants, to push the boundaries creatively and increase the scale of things we can make. We’d also love to create our own big concrete showroom/coffee shop/collab space for other independent makers to showcase their work. Watch this space….
Apart from the lovely bits you helped us with, what’s your favourite Lazy Oaf piece?
Has to be the Happy Sad Fluoro Dog Lead for our sausage dog, Dickie!